Pepperdine has relied on the three-pointer to keep them in games all season long, but with the exception of Westphal, it betrayed them in this game, as they shot a collective 3-13 (23%).
Jonathon Sanders paced St. Mary's with a career-high 23 points. Daniel Kickert scored 16, and Frederic Adjiwanou had 14 and a team-high seven rebounds. Adam Caporn chipped in 11 with a couple of back-breaking three-pointers.
The Waves held the Gaels to just 33% shooting in the first half, but were only able to muster a 31-28 edge. In fact, an argument could be made that the game was lost in the final moments of the first half. Given a chance to push a lead to seven, the Waves fumbled the ball away and allowed the Gaels to score; then the Waves failed to get off a shot on the final possession of the half.
For the beginning of the second half, the Waves barely held off several St. Mary's bids for the lead. The Gaels finally went ahead with about ten minutes to go, and began to pull away, leading by as many as nine at 56-47.
But that was when Miggins and Westphal imposed their will, leading a 14-4 charge to take a 61-60 lead at the 5:23 mark.
The rest of the half was a thrilling see-saw battle.
Trailing 67-65, Terrance Johnson nailed a three-pointer with 3:00 left to take a one-point lead. But Caporn responded with a three of his own to put the Gaels back up 70-68. That score held for several failed possessions at both ends until the Gaels hit their free throws to extend to a five-point edge.
Though Westphal got the Waves to within two with a clutch bomb, the Waves would get no closer. St. Mary's converted late free throws, and Terrance Johnson's three fell to the floor as the buzzer sounded.
With it, the hopes of the Waves' star-crossed season.